Archive for March 2016
Dental habits don’t come naturally to most kids… or even most adults! It takes time and patience, both for parents and children, to develop these habits. Fortunately, once these habits are established, they are the keys to long-term dental health. Here are some tips to help these habits form.
- Teach kids how to measure their own success. An important part of any healthy habit is the psychological reward of a job well done. In this case, the job can be measured any number of ways. Kids can see their success in the mirror. They can also feel their teeth with their tongues, noticing whether their teeth feel smooth. If kids can see or feel the real benefits of good dental hygiene, then they will be encouraged to keep up with the habit.
- Introduce flossing early. Many parents neglect this until their children are older. Yet, there is no bad time to add flossing to a brushing routine.
- Make no exceptions. Kids should brush at least twice, and floss at least once, every single day. Even a day’s lapse can lead to calculus buildup that only a dentist can remove.
- Make dental time family time. If everyone does it together, it feels less like an order. Also, it helps kids stay on track by making them accountable to you at the time of their nightly routines.
- Cut down on snacks. Snacks, especially those high in sugar or acid, between mealtimes is terrible for teeth. If you buy your child a cookie or candy, make part of the deal to get the cookie be an additional brushing after eating it. This will drastically cut down on bacterial growth on your child’s teeth. Set a good example by cutting down on the sugar, and brushing after each sugary treat.
These habits, if formed in childhood, can last for life. A healthy child will become a healthy adult.
Aging signs are a natural part of life. Dental issues are no different. For seniors, there are a number of dental health care needs that must be considered. Issues related to teeth and gums can be minimized through routine dental care.
Although some of the changes associated to aging cannot be prevented, their long-term effects can be minimized by knowing what to look out for, and what to do about it over time. The following are 4 important dental issues seniors should watch out for.
1. Gum Disease
Inflammation of the gum line is a common problem that patients present at the dental office. Thorough cleanings and good dental habits help reverse the inflammatory process.
But if left untreated, inflammation creates pockets around the gum line, providing an opportunity for bacteria to grow. The buildup of tartar and plaque increases the severity, as well as the use of tobacco.
Seniors who experience issues with the gums must be careful to avoid foods and products that increase the sugar content in the mouth. Acidic foods such as citrus fruits and soft drinks should also be carefully considered.
The natural production of saliva decreases as you age. This is true for the entire body, as joints, skin, and other tissues begin to lose their hydration and elasticity.
In addition, prescription medications contribute to the loss of saliva production in seniors. Therefore, adequate hydration as you get older ensures that you prevent unwanted loss of saliva.
Saliva cleans the mouth naturally, and provides teeth with calcium and other strengthening nutrients. By drinking high-quality water regularly, seniors prevent the dental issues related to dry mouth.
Seniors encounter teeth discolouration as they age. Because the teeth lose their whiteness with time, some seniors are unaware that many of the issues related to discolouration can be avoided.
Acids in food can wear away the enamel. This allows the dentin, located underneath the enamel, to show more prominently. The result is a yellowing of the teeth.
For seniors, the biggest step in preventing yellowing of the teeth is to maintain strong enamel. This means that coffee, wine, and tobacco should be avoided.
4. Tooth Loss
Perhaps the most serious dental issue that seniors face is the loss of teeth. This can occur for a number of reasons. Seniors must remember that the best prevention for tooth loss is long-term routine care.
In addition to many of the diet and lifestyle habits already mentioned, ensuring that you get high quality dental care on a regular basis prevents unwanted tooth loss and decay. Consulting with a professional dental care expert provides you with the information you need to maximize your dental health in later years.